Tag Archive: back pain

Back pain can be aggravated as a result of paddling a kayak or fishing from it for a prolonged period.
Kayaking and kayak fishing can cause back pain, a condition called yak-back.

15 miles round trip, offshore, in my Wavewalk 700 skiff

This is the story of my trip across Buzzards Bay, to the Elizabeth Islands, a chain of small islands between Martha’s Vineyard and the mainland.

Before the actual trip…

My first trip was ‘preliminary’ to the actual one, because it was cut short due to time constraints – I arrived to the boat ramp in Gooseberry island at the Horseneck Beach Reservation, found the parking lot full, and headed back on the causeway.
I parked a quarter of a mile down the road, next to a rocky beach, a.k.a. a ‘Rock Garden’. It was early in the afternoon, and by the time I launched, filled the gas tank, and tested the boat (and myself), I realized that since I’m a novice seaman, I’d have to drive slowly, namely at less than 5 mph, which would have made the trip longer than I had planned. That meant that I might have gotten back home too late, which is a no-no.

What’s left from that preliminary, or shall we call it ‘Test’ trip are the panoramic view of the parking lot and the beach, and the still images from the end of the trip, where I’m seen dragging the boat on the beach, and up the ramp, back to the parking lot.
Joao, a local resident, shot these nice photos – Thanks Joao!  🙂

The actual trip

I came back the next day to the same parking lot, before noon. I wore blue shorts and and a blue shirt that’s identical to the one I wore the previous day – It’s called ‘Movie Continuity’ 😀
Speaking of continuity, the weather was identical in both days – sunny and beautiful. That wasn’t due just to luck, since I had planned this trip a week in advance.

Launching in that rock garden was a piece of cake.
To start the motor, I dropped the anchor about 100 yards from shore, turned around in the cockpit so I faced the motor, added fuel to the gas tank (I did it standing up, using a long spout), and I started the motor in full comfort, like I would on a big boat.
I turned around, which is easy to do in the W700, raised the anchor, grabbed the joystick, pushed in the choke, put the motor in forward gear, set the RPM, and headed to the islands.
I drove at a leisurely pace, giving myself time to enjoy the ride and shoot video.

I had two cameras on board – a Sony 400 with a telescopic x63 optical zoom lens, and a Sony Xperia watertight smartphone with a 4K Ultra-HD camera, mounted on a selfie stick. I used both cameras, and it turned out that the 400 performed well, while the Xperia didn’t produce good results, mainly because I failed to operate it properly 🙁

Offshore-Trip-Elizabeth-Islands-MA-1024

Massachusetts South Shore, Buzzards Bay, and the Elizabeth Islands.

At about 6 miles from shore, Penikese island was closer, but I decided to go a little further, and land on Cuttyhunk island, which is 7 miles from where I launched. It just looked better the trough the telescopic lens of my camera…

I approached Cuttyhunk island, scouted for a good landing spot, and beached without a problem. I didn’t even have to step in water 🙂

As I was making my first steps on that beautiful beach, enjoying the pristine nature and solitude, my cellphone rang… It was my mother in-law, who was concerned about me  😀   That conversation added a comic touch to the situation…

I refilled the gas tank, and checked how much water got into the boat. I had a towel tucked in each rear hull tip, and both towels were almost dry, which is to say that hardly any spray got in. This is due to fact that I drove slowly and didn’t give the waves a chance to splash into the cockpit.

Going back

The first half of the trip back to the mainland was a not that pleasant – The wind had picked up, and the boat was getting hit by waves from 7 o’clock, which made it harder to drive. The joystick offered me the perfect means to drive responsively and with precision, as I needed to, given that the W700 is such a small boat. Comfort wise, it was perfect.
Under these conditions, driving while facing sideways and gripping the tiller directly would have been hard, and even driving while facing forward with an articulated (U-jointed) tiller extension would have been somehow uncomfortable.

The motor didn’t sound like it appreciated the continuous abrupt alternations between acceleration and deceleration, as each passing wave projected the boat forward and then dumped it behind…
It turned out that this 6 HP Tohatsu motor isn’t just quiet and easy to operate – it’s also reliable.

The second part of the trip back was easier.
As I approached the shore and recognized the area from which I had launched, I allowed myself to drive faster, and even standing up, which felt great.
Spray getting into the boat was no longer a matter for any concern as this stage, of course.

Beaching in the rock garden was a piece of cake, but I have to admit that due to the shallowness of the water I wasn’t able to drive the boat high enough to step on dry land, this time.

Dragging the boat up the beach and back to the car wasn’t easy… After a few steps I stopped, and I used a little manual pump that I had with me to get water out of the hulls. I also took the towels out and squeezed water out of them. Altogether, I removed a couple of gallons of water from the boat, which made it easier to pull it up to the parking lot.

The aftermath

Other than getting my face and knees sunburned, I feel no physical impact whatsoever. No muscle tension in my legs, not even the slightest sign of back pain, and no pain in my left wrist and forearm, which could have happened had I used the articulated tiller extension in such a long drive.

Thinking forward

The 6 HP Tohatsu outboard features an alternator, which means that it could feed the battery powering a small electric bilge bump, and thus turn spray into a non-issue. Some smaller Tohatsu outboards feature an alternator as well.
Anyways, a long manual bilge pump such as many kayakers use would do equally well, I guess.

Motorized Wavewalk 500 for offshore fishing

By Neo Chino

(YouTube pen name)

South Florida

I get back pain from sitting in other kayaks, but never in this one, even after eight hours offshore. It’s really good for your back.

You sit in it like on the saddle of a jet ski, but sometimes I sit sideways, with two feet in one hull.

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Casting and sitting sideways

South Florida Kayak Fishing Club Dania Beach FL 4-29-2016

My biggest tuna ever

I store my fishing tackle in boxes inside the hulls.

I outfitted my Wavewalk 500 kayak with a 2.5 hp Suzuki outboard motor. I was one of the first guys with a motor in the South Florida Fishing Club. Sometimes I fish almost 3 miles out with my motorized Wavewalk 500, so I had to put adjustable outriggers on it for more stability. Before I added the outriggers I flipped it about 60 yards from the pier, and it was not cool, so I don’t recommend that you drive it offshore and in the currents without stabilizers.

A poor man’s fishing boat 🙂

 

big-fish-on-board-(2)-640 big-fish-on-board-640 black-fin-tuna-inWavewalk-500-(2)-640 black-fin-tuna-inWavewalk-500-640 my-biggest-tuna-640

Special art from the Wavewalk 500

By Larry Durfey

Wisconsin

Here are some photo art that I have taken for my 500 kayak on the back waters for the Mississippi.
See my web page for more info on my process and images lgdimagery.com

 

 

river reflections

 

twin mounts

 

I have found a very inexpensive seat for my 500. It is a cafeteria chair I got for $3.00 at a yard sale. Because of the shape of the legs it fits over the center of the 500 and the cross mettle supports on the chair fit into the slots on the 500 just right. I did not have to cut anything just set in the 500 and slide it so that it locked into the slots.

I have some lower back problems and can not sit in a normal kayak and the 500 works so well for me. I do get tired easy with out any back support but now that is not a problem. I hope that others that have the same problem will benefit from this info.

W500 with a chair

 

seat that fits in my W500

 

seat that fits in my W kayak

 

More photographic art and kayak outfitting from Larry »

141 outings in 3 years. Best purchase of my life (almost)

Robbie Cairl

W. Massachusetts

I’m sorry I have not made any videos with my awesome Wavewalk 500. My buddy did take this snapshot of me yesterday. I’m about to land (and release) a nice 2 1/2 lb. smallmouth bass on the Connecticut River in Sunderland MA.
I love my W and keep track of my outings. Yesterday was my 141st adventure in 3 years. My back and all round fishing and kayaking experiences have been heavenly since I made the best purchase of my life. Well, second best, after my wedding license.

catching a 2.5 lb smallmouth bass on a fly

Me: Wavewalk 500 owner since spring 2013. I’m 60-ish soon to retire and use my W even more. I love to explore new bodies of water and fish (catch and release except for the rare stocked trout I may have to share with camping buddies). The Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers are my favorite haunts, I can put in the Conn just about a mile from home. My usual trip is a 3 mile paddle up stream for cardio and core workout, then crack a beer and float home while fishing, photographing, bird watching and observing whatever nature has to offer. The upright paddling position has allowed me to kayak more often for longer periods of time. The ample room, ability to stand, ease of handling while transporting were all added benefits I continue to enjoy.


Read Robbie’s initial Wavewalk 500 review from 2013 »

For me it is the Wavewalk or nothing

By John Sealy

North Carolina

Not long ago I bought a W500. The 500 lived up to its billing. I could get in it with dry feet, I could paddle upright without back pain, and it was more stable than any canoe or kayak I’d ever been in. What a great “platform” for fishing and touring.
The Wavewalk 700 is everything the 500 is, and more.

I took the W700 out last week for my first trip and was amazed at how stable it was. The W700 is such a pleasure to paddle, easy to get into, easy to launch, and so incredibly stable. So I really put it to the test….my wife Kathy wanted to give it a try. Kathy is 60 yoa and hasn’t been on the water in 20 years. See the video of my wife coming to shore and getting out of my W700 for the first time. She’s now picked out a yellow one so it was an expensive test!

 

 

I’m 63 yoa and am no lightweight. I now have a kayak I can paddle with confidence. In the W500 or the W700 I can stand up!, move forward or back, lean forward or back, and change leg position.
I simply can’t use other kayaks or canoes due to my lower back issues and my size. For me it is the Wavewalk or nothing.

I’ve got fishing and exploring to do. I look forward to having my wife enjoy the water with me and to have grand children explore and fish with me in the 700 or alongside in their own 500.

See the pictures of me getting into and out of the W700:

Launching the Wavewalk 700

1-kayak-launching-stepping-into-the-kayak

1. Just step in

2-kayak-launching-entering-the-cockpit

2. Walk to the middle of the cockpit

3-kayak-launching-sitting-down

3. Sit down comfortably, with nothing pushing against your lower back…

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4. Push the kayak in with your paddle, and start paddling

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Paddle sitting or standing, it’s easy even for a big guy like me

Beaching the Wavewalk 700

beaching-the-kayak-sit-in-the-back-and-raise-the-bow

1. Slide backward to the rear end of the cockpit – the bow goes up! Paddle directly to the beach…

beaching-the-kayak-slide-the-bow-up-the-bank

2. A few paddle strokes and a push, and the kayak’s bow slides up the bank

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3. Get up (it’s easy!), stand up, and wave to your fans…

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4. Just walk out of the kayak. Feet always dry!

More from John »


More W700 reviews »